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Retirement Commissioner seeks employer support

3 April 2000

Retirement Commissioner seeks employer support in helping employees prepare for retirement

A comprehensive programme aimed at encouraging employers to help staff deal with financial planning for retirement has been launched by the Office of the Retirement Commissioner.

Called Retire at Work, the programme encourages employers to use a specially developed, easy-to-use, video-based seminar to deliver financial planning information in the workplace.

-Planning for retirement is everybody+s business. We want employers to deliver the message because our research shows that employees feel comfortable dealing with retirement issues in the workplace,- said Retirement Commissioner Colin Blair.

-Employees generally look up to their employers. They see them as successful role models with financial success and knowledge in money matters. Employees generate the income to make retirement savings from their jobs, so the work environment is a logical place in which to discuss the vital question of retirement planning.

-The minimum we are asking employers to do is to run a Retire at Work Seminar for their staff. It only need take around 30 minutes to get employees to start seriously thinking about how to provide for their retirement. It can be one of the most valuable and cost effective benefits any employer can offer staff, and requires minimal effort in set up and delivery time. It can be run during lunch or after work - whenever it is convenient.-

Mr Blair said that a key feature of the programme is that it leaves employers to decide how far they want to help their employees.

-There are choices to suit the employer. They can just deliver the Retire at Work Seminar. They can provide further access to retirement planning information, by contacting one of our sponsor organisations or another provider of financial services.

They can actively help employees save through diverting wage or salary deductions into savings schemes, providing access to a group savings scheme or arranging low cost group insurance cover.

-Or they can offer more help by providing financial incentives which encourage saving, such as meeting the administration cost of a group savings scheme or setting up an employer-subsidised group savings or superannuation scheme.-

Retire at Work is financially supported by extensive television and print advertising aimed at gaining employer support for the programme. An 0800 line (0800 42 62 82) and web site (www.retireatwork.org.nz) is available for employers seeking information on how the programme works.

The programme is supported by Bank of New Zealand, the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Royal &SunAlliance and Tower.

Retire at Work is a fresh new extension of the Office+s highly successful Take Action and How Much? campaigns, which are designed to encourage action on retirement planning among the general population.

The programme has been structured to appeal to businesses of all size, and while pricing of the Employee Seminar is based on the number of employees, it costs less than $10 per employee. For example, a kit for businesses of between 1-5 staff costs $45; for between 11-20 staff it is $100 and for between 41-50 staff it is $225.

-Less than $10 per employee is a very small investment with positive returns for everyone involved.

-For employers, it+s an investment in staff relations, a way of showing you care about your employees, and a way to help people move positively from work to retirement.

-For employees, it provides access to independent advice and offers a credible and accessible way of making sure their retirement needs are seriously addressed,- said Mr Blair.

ENDS

For further information:

Liz Read, Communications Manager, Office of the Retirement Commissioner Ph: (04) 499-7396 (work); (021) 1185292 (a/hours); liz.read@retirement.org.nz

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